Ok ya’ll; I have a confession to make… I have an unhealthy obsession with the dollar store. Even though I have personal convictions against consumerism, junky crappy food items, and even clutter ( I lose that battle daily) I still LOVE the dollar store. It seems so much like a treasure hunt ( or maybe like a box of chocolates? Thanks Forrest)- you never know what you are going to get. And, I know their selection of movie theater candy is unrivaled, there are other items there that can make your health eating journey easier.
I think we forget how important water can be to feeling your best. I know I do. It is the unsung hero of the body. And it’s more like a spectator in the crowd vs the hero as it makes up over 55% of the body. Not drinking enough water can cause unclear thinking, mood swings, cause your body to overheat, and lead to constipation and kidney stones. On the positive side, water has no calories, so it can also help with managing body weight when you sub it out for drinks with calories, such as sweet tea or regular soda.
The dollar store is a great place to do some experimentation if you are sick and tired of plain ol’ water. They always have the little flavor sticks in a dizzying variety of sometimes bizarre flavors- ( birthday cake in a bottle anyone?) but no matter how weird, there is an opportunity to try something to get you out of a hydration rut.
Drinks can be a MAJOR contributor of empty calories. These kinds of drinks include soda, sweet tea, koolaids, gatoraids, monster type energy drinks, smoothies, flavored milks and even coffees ( *sob). People who drink these often are more likely to face health problems, such as weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis.
The latest guidelines recommend that people 2 years and older keep their intake of added sugars to less than 10% of their total daily calories. For kids under 2, they should not be consuming ANY added sugars through drinks! For example, in a 2,000 calorie diet, no more than 200 calories should come from added sugars. Two hundred calories is about 12 teaspoons of added sugar in food and beverages combined. A 12-ounce regular soda has more than 10 teaspoons of added sugar, adding up to about total 150 calories. Cutting out 2 regular sodas per day would reduce total calories by 2,100 in a week.
So if you are looking to clean up your sugar act, a wonderful place to start is with sodas and other sweetened beverages. But Ya’ll, water can be BORING, so trying some of these flavors can be a fun way to experiment with cleaning up your drink act. A lot of these do use artificial sweetener like aspartame, but if that’s not your jam, natural flavors like teas, and my new fav, crystalized lemon, might be a good choice. And for $1.25, if you don’t like it, shamelessly regift to an unsuspecting family member and try the next best thing.
Another thing you can grab at the dollar store to up your hydration game is a sweet new reusable water bottle or cup. Having an arsenal of these little babies can help the right choice be the easy choice. Treat yourself to a couple of different styles. The one called “Chug-A-Lug” might not be what you want to sport at your next zoom team meeting, but is great for the walk around the block you’re planning later. So grab your rainbow pineapple sippie and fill ‘er up with the good stuff (water that is).